Berman: “I appreciate people don’t want to lose Rumney Rec…”

Cardiff Council's leader Berman speaks out on Rec fate.

Liberal Democrat Council leader Rodney Berman yesterday broke his silence on the fate of Rumney Rec during an interview with the Guardian Cardiff.

The interview was titled: Leader of the council speaks on school reorganisation in the city

Cardiff East requested an interview with Councillor Berman but was told that he was a busy man. Councillor Berman suggested that we e-mail him some questions. We e-mailed him 10 Qs that we list below.

We issue an open invitation for Council leader Berman to answer the questions in the spirit in which they were intended. We will also offer Mr. Berman the chance to include his own words as to the rationale behind the council’s plans for building the Eastern High School on the Rumney Recreation Ground.

We make Mr. Berman the promise that we shall post his answers and words in their entirety and without comment for you to read.

Q. 1.

Do you regret not telling the people of east Cardiff from the outset that their new secondary school would cost £22m and that you would not be seeking capital funding from the Welsh Assembly Government?

Q. 2.

What do you think will be the long-term consequences for the relationship between the people of east Cardiff and Cardiff Council if the school is built on the Rumney Recreation Ground against their wishes?

Q. 3.

In 2006 you planned to build a £25m school at the site of Llanrumney High School. Why is that no longer an appropriate site?

Q. 4.

When the refurbished Eastern Leisure Centre is opened will there by any restrictions for residents due to the fact that the new school will occupy the same location of the Rumney Recreation Ground?

Q. 5.

The Deputy Council leader, Cllr Neil McEvoy, caused offence to campaigners when he referred to them as “morons, thugs and liars” in the South Wales Echo. Do you regret his choice of words?

Q. 6.

Are there any other recreation grounds in Cardiff that you could envisage the council building on?

Q. 7.

Do you have concerns that you have no political mandate to implement the council’s plans against the wishes of residents considering that the Coalition council has only one councillor out of the ten who represent the new school’s catchment area.

Q. 8.

Alun Michael, the local MP, has called the council’s plans “Civic Vandalism”. How would you describe building on parkland?

Q. 9

Why when you were looking for a ‘neutral site’ did you never offer for public consultation the secondary school site in St. Mellons? And how can it be deemed ‘surplus to educational requirements’ when you are having to build a school on a park?

Q. 10

Do you think that the communities of Llanrumney, Rumney, St. Mellons and Trowbridge can ever fully participate in civic engagement again if their obvious wishes, communicated through their councillors, their 8,000 petition and nearly 4,000 of them voting no in the local community poll, are ignored and the school is built on the Rumney Recreation Ground.

We urge you to read the interview with Council leader Rodney Berman and join in the debate on the Guardian Cardiff site by making your comments known at the end of the interview.

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